6 Years of Blogging: A Flashback

6 Years of Blogging: A Flashback

In the afternoon WordPress wished me a happy anniversary through its notifications menu. I realized six years ago on 4th August 2010 I started posting my works to this blog. The floodgates of nostalgia were flung wide open as memories rushed in and overflowed my consciousness. So many things happened over the course of these years. Things that were both significant and trivial, sad and delightful, glorious and humbling. In brief, the journey has been and still continues to be almost as adventitious as life itself. A few of those found a place in some of the posts but most remained buried in a faraway island that I call my heart, an island that owns nothing but is owned by nothing either.

Anyways, the year was 2010 and in March that year I seemed to have finally settled down in a career after some jumping around. Though I was writing in English for four years by then, it was all limited to my personal diaries. With both my personal and professional life in complete disarray, I could hardly think of the luxury of sharing my words with the world. Of course the quality was at best elementary, if not outright questionable as well. However, once the job security was there I started thinking about sharing my poems. I found WordPress in August after trying a few other poetry hosting sites like poetrypoem.org. I stuck to WordPress mostly because the interface was more user friendly than the previous ones I tried.

So, in August 2010 I started posting to this blog and ended up publishing 86 posts in one month. Those were from all the poems I wrote in the previous four years that I found good enough to share with the world. By the end of that year I added 14 more to the tally, December being the most productive month with 8 posts. Back then one thing I liked was the way after publishing each post, WordPress encouraged me to achieve my next target of posts. I forgot the sequence of targets but most probably it was 25, 50, 75, 100… as far as I can recall the encouragement stopped after reaching 200 or 250 posts. I wonder whether that feature is still available for the newcomers or was later removed from the site.

Like any enterprise, the starting months were tedious with little or no return. At the end of the year, the 100 posts on the blog received 335 views in total. As the stats page in front of me shows, the number in the likes and comments columns are a meager 14 and 13 respectively and the Visitors’ tally was not available until 2012. The most viewed poem was Vow, published in October with 44 views.

In twelve months on 2011, I added 72 more posts and September was the most productive one with 14. For some now forgotten reasons February 2011 has been the only month so far when I did not publish a single post. Though the view count at the end of the year was a little less shameful than the previous one with 1326, the comments and likes columns continued their meager streak with 16 and 80 respectively. The most viewed poem was Life, Dreams, Memories And Me, published in March with 109 views.

In 2012 a further 142 posts were added and with 17 of them published in December, it was the most productive month of that year. WordPress started counting the visitors sometime in this year and at the end of it, my blog had 170 of them with 3595 views, 473 likes and 69 comments. The most viewed poem was Humayun Ahmed: The Most Popular Writer of Bangladesh with 65 views. Published in July that year, as a tribute after his death, this poem has been the most viewed piece on the blog for four consecutive years, with 279 views in 2013, 343 in 2014 and 482 in 2015. Even in the running year it is the 20th most viewed poem with 111 views. I think you can very well imagine the popularity of the person the poem is about.

In 2013, 158 more posts were added. At the end of the year my blog was viewed 3898 times by 1654 visitors but both comments and Likes went downhill with 39 and 159 respectively. The most viewed post was unchanged from the previous year, as you know already. The most viewed post published in that year was I’m A Tree with 44 views. It was published in May of that year and November was the most productive month with 21 posts.

2014 was the year I added more than 200 posts for the first time with 217 in total. According to the figures displayed on my blog, of all the months July seems to be the most productive one. However, as there was a war between Israel and Palestine in that month, I reposted a few antiwar poems written by fellow poets. Now I think it was December with 25 posts, as from the trends I can see winter is more productive for me than summer. The most viewed post written in that year was The Fire in Her Eyes with 77 views, published in September. In all 1471 visitors viewed my posts 4072 times with 1329 Likes and 120 Comments. This year is also special for me because an anthology, Nature and Human beings: Individual and Collective, of my poems was published from Amazon  in March.

Finally, in 2015 the stats started looking more similar to that of a newbie. I added 212 posts in that year and my blog received 10,751 views from 2993 visitors who rewarded me with 7952 likes and 785 comments. December once again was the most productive month with 40 posts published.  The most viewed poem written in that year was A Cold Goodbye, published in July with 166 views. July was also the month I resigned from my job after five and half years and decided to invest all of my time and efforts into creating contents for the world in both written and audio-visual formats.

This brings me back to a familiar point, having a tumultuous professional and personal life. After a year of unemployment, last month I have finally found a way to be self-employed by monetizing my creative contents on a YouTube channel @ Amit Rahman and a Blogspot page @ Amit’s Two Pennies. This way of securing sustenance has more freedom as well as self-accountability. At the same, if successful, the monetization would not only provide me with money but recognition too and that also from a wider berth of people than is available in private services. However with only 32 subscribers so far, even the minimum sustenance seems a dream as distant as the afterlife itself. The fact that almost all of the subscribers are Gmail account holders but not active YouTubers is even more disparaging. So, my dear poets and fellow bloggers, I would truly be grateful if you kindly subscribe and watch my videos. I would also urge you to return to my channel regularly if you find its contents useful or interesting. Currently I have three series in production at the channel, they are:

  • Five New Words: In this series I offer five English words with their etymologies, pronunciations, meanings and examples in each episode.


  • Two Pennies: In this series I offer my two pennies on history, philosophy, literature, religion, psychology, politics and current affairs.


  • Poems by Amit Rahman: This one consists of the readings of my poems with their texts being displayed on the screen. Of late I have also begun to include a brief context of the poem being read at the end of each episode.



Hopefully I have not dragged this too long to lose a reader halfway through. If you have made it to this far, let me not bore you anymore and end this piece by earnestly praying for your kind support and patronage towards my humble enterprise detailed above. This is my anniversary pledge to you, my readers.

Thanks a lot for your time! May you be in peace!


Counter – Terrorism

Counter – Terrorism

Recently I became a member of a secret anti – violence group in Facebook. Thinking about violence, I have to admit, as human beings we are capable of myriad forms of violence both against humanity and nature, ranging from domestic violence and animal abuse all the way to terrorism, holocaust and genocide. However, as the current global focus is on terrorism, I too shall not deviate from it, although I firmly believe that by all means poverty is the most severe form of violence against humanity. It is also one of the prominent catalysts behind many other forms of violence. Moreover, poverty plays a key role in the rise of disillusionment among the third world youths, who can then be brainwashed and recruited by different terrorist organizations as well.



Before delving further into the realm of terrorists and terrorism, let me exempt one form of violence and bloodshed from the other destructive kinds mentioned earlier. It is the violence that ensues from a collective action against imperial occupation or invasion, i.e. wars of independence in Vietnam or Chechnya and rebellions against extinction such as the Native American revolt in the face of westward expansion by the US government, among many others. History has an avid thirst for blood when it has to press forward and start the next chapter for humankind. These tides of change are often borne by collective actions from the afflicted populace. Unfortunately though, in today’s world of political and economic globalization, often these collective actions are taken hold of and abused by psychopaths or corporations for individual gains and/or vendettas. Before most of the activists in these cases realize it, their collective action has sired a terrorist organization by getting involved in crimes against humanity. A very recent example would be the atrocities committed by pro – Russian rebels in east Ukraine.



This trend of collective actions getting hijacked by vested interest groups for unsustainable gains is, as it should be, a growing concern too. We need not look any further than the amazing Arab Spring for yet another sad example of the said trend. Beginning in Tunisia, the movement was hijacked as soon as it entered the bordering Coloneldom of Egypt. From there it started submitting more and more to the will of these global gamblers as it spread to Libya and Syria with more internationally vested interests due to their natural resources and political connections. In the end Egypt reverted back to yet another Army backed government, Libya erupted in a civil war and Syria is on any top ten lists that deal with possible reasons for the start of World War 3. The only successful legacy Arab Spring has managed to leave in its wake is in Tunisia with a better constitution that facilitates individual liberty and enhances women’s rights.



Now, we all know that there are as many counter terrorism units as there are terrorist organizations but training and deploying reaper units is not the way to fight against a poisonous-fruit bearing tree. It will bloom again in the next season. Yes I know this method is economically more gainful since the fertilizer industry can keep on producing. The equipment and weapons industries can also boom from the need of equipping the reapers as well as any who might want to defend the tree’s right to blossom and fruition, for the sake of production.



To further illustrate the vulnerability of the popular counter terrorism methods, let us examine two of the most used techniques to fight terrorists. One of these techniques is carried out through drone and other forms of strike, both aerial and ground based, to eliminate influential leaders and training sites, the other is when a terrorist attack takes place, achieved through direct confrontation. Here we must remember that like any society, a terrorist organization is also roughly divided into three classes. At the top are the strategists and the patrons. Below them is the midlevel and we would mostly find terrorists with specific skill sets in this level. Some are experts in brainwashing and work as recruiters. Some with expertise on explosives while others with martial training or planning or carrying out attacks. Of course none of the later ones in that list would be possible except the scouts for carrying out reconnaissance. Finally the third tier is made up of the new recruits, who despite being brainwashed to some extent, has not become enough of a zealot to be trusted with higher responsibilities mentioned above. This class also contains the target group, mostly disillusioned youths ready to be brainwashed and abused.



Now back to our dissection of the techniques used in counter terrorism. The first technique is condemnable solely from the resulting amount of unintended civilian casualties. Moreover, even if theoretically the technique did wipe out the top echelon of a terrorist organization, we are left with the entire midlevel and the probability of one of the lieutenants to take control of the proceedings, possibly with an even more bizarre and radicalized strategy. Even worse is the possibility of a fractionalization between armed terrorists from the resulting power vacuum. The second technique is even more futile as it deals solely with midlevel operatives, creating precedents for the responsible terrorist organization to use for brainwashing more possible recruits.



So how can we do it? The answer is easier said than done but to fight such a tree we have to attack at its root, at the bottom most level of new and possible recruits. I have seen enough research and studies on the web to know that illiteracy and poverty have already been identified as two of the most prominent reasons for the existence of this class of youth that can be and more often than not are brainwashed and abused. No wonder we do not see even the Islamist terrorist organizations to wage war to ensure Zakat, a form of mandatory annual charity in Islam, designed to alleviate poverty or to ensure literacy, one of the fundamental duties of each and every follower of Islam. Because literacy and lack of poverty will cut off the very roots the tree is thriving on. However, economic growth is a controversial issue and has many conflicting interpretations worldwide. But education or literacy has no such stains; so, what we need are massive constructive reforms in the education sector, especially regarding the content, quality and interpretations found in existing religious education.



Therefore, I believe creating think – tank organizations to oversee religious education should work more effectively and sustainably to fight terrorism than the creation of more gun – wielding Special Forces or economy – sabotaging sanctions and laws. In the end, any act of terrorism is an act of terrorism, regardless of the uniform, insignia or means used by the assailants to carry out the act.


Too Many Contradictions

To what end the hells and heavens were made?
Religion draws one with licking flames, vicious
and deadly too while the other with sparkling grains
of jewels and delicacies, divine
and claims, they discourage vices
while luring the humble folks to be virtuous.

Yet whatever heroic the world has seen so far
were mostly done without any desire
for grand medals of honor in return
while often the promised rewards were sought
by those who had to personify eminence
to obtain caskets of material worth.

Should those indifferent to alcohol in life
ever grow indulgent after their death?

Too many contradictions hang
in the air, forged with our love and betrayal
between the collective and the individual,
enforced by our perceptions of right and
wrong, vice and virtue, of evil and the God.
Religion restrains itself to sin and reward
while history to faces and dates
and education, how to steal.

Still the pinnacle of contradictions no doubt is
the sacred human soul, the holy abode
for both the devil and the God,
a void infinite where the hells burn and the heavens soothe!